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Thursday, April 25th, 2019
10:51 am - So What? Press announces crossover with The Red Hook and Tales of the Night Watchman


APRIL 24, 2019

Drew Ford
Dave Kelly

It's Alive! and So What? Press join forces to bring Tales of the Night Watchman to Diamond; announce crossover with Dean Haspiel's The Red Hook

Brooklyn-based publishers It's Alive! and So What? Press have made a deal to distribute Tales of the Night Watchman to the direct market via Diamond. Under this arrangement, So What? Press will operate as an imprint of It's Alive! and continue to produce issues of the acclaimed series about baristas who fight monsters. This fall will see the release of a two-part mini-series, "The Final Kill", and a crossover one-shot with Dean Haspiel's Line Webtoon / Image Comics property, The Red Hook, entitled "The Untold Legend of Luna".

"The Final Kill" involves a race against time as the Night Watchman is hired by a mysterious woman to protect her family from an ancient flesh-eating god called Zahal. "The Untold Legend of Luna" is a crossover event three centuries in the making as the Night Watchman and the Red Hook team up to travel back in time to save Brooklyn's first superhero, a woman of mystery named Luna, who has been erased from history.

Series co-creator Dave Kelly wrote "The Final Kill" and co-wrote the crossover with Dean Haspiel. All three issues will feature line art by Brett Hobson, colors by Sonia Liao, and lettering by DC Hopkins. Tim Hamilton (Copra #25, Rabbit Who Fights) provided covers for "The Final Kill". Haspiel will provide a cover for the one-shot. These and future issues will be edited by Rachel Pinnelas (Marvel, DC Comics, Image's Black Cloud).

The series began in 2011 after Kelly's recovery from cancer inspired him to change careers. He met series co-creator Lara Antal at a Think Coffee holiday party, and the NYC-based coffee chain plays a prominent role as the day job for the main characters. The series is most known for its popular "It Came from the Gowanus Canal" storyline and for the issues drawn by Molly Ostertag (Scholastic's Witch Boy series). A story from the series appeared in the Eisner-nominated and Ringo Award-winning Mine! anthology, published by ComicMix. A serialized version runs quarterly in Brooklyn's Park Slope Reader newspaper. It was also featured in the 2015 book, Blood in Four Colours: A Graphic History of Horror Comics, written by Pedro Cabezulo and published by Rue Morgue.


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Wednesday, April 17th, 2019
3:38 pm - Smash Pages Q&A: Dean Haspiel on ‘Starcross’

Alex Dueben kindly talked to me about my new webcomic, STARCROSS, The Red Hook season 3.


"As I was writing Red Hook and imagining what the big stories are because it’s hard to write a big long epic story especially because every big long epic story has been told. From Shakespeare to Stan Lee, they’ve told all the stories. It’s basically how you make it unique. For this third story I was going to use this idea about how love could save the world. As I was putting that together I realized that it’s not just a story about the Red Hook and his lost love The Possum, a.k.a. War Cry, but it’s also about community. It’s about these other characters. And if it’s about love, maybe it’s not just one person’s love but a whole bunch of love. What does love look like in its many iterations? It’s complicated in this third season because I’m letting other characters shine just as much as the Red Hook because it’s becoming more of a communal story. Curiously enough, it’s a weird metaphor for global warming. The sun is dying and they need to reignite the sun. It takes a bunch of characters to ally and figure out what to do next. It involves the community and the people of New Brooklyn. It become a weird metaphor about global warming and lost love and it becomes Shakesperean on a galactic level."

"I’m highly inspired by 1961’s Marvel Comics, or those first three years from ‘61-’63. When I was invited to pitch to Line Webtoon I came at then editor Tom Akel with three different ideas, one of them being The Red Hook. He liked The Red Hook but I said, there are other New Brooklyn characters. At the time Seth Kushner was alive and he had been writing this idea called The Brooklynite and Vito Delsante had co-created The Purple Heart and so we got artists to become co-creators and we created this three pronged universe. Everyone had a first season. As you know Seth passed away in the middle of working on the Brooklynite and Shamus Beyale and Jason Goungor completed that season. Vito and artist Ricardo Venâncio completed the first season of The Purple Heart. To preserve Seth’s legacy I don’t really want to touch The Brooklynite anymore. I love that character but I don’t want to touch that character unless Seth’s wife wants us to do more, so we’ve told his story and he’s going to be pushed to the side. I would love to do more with the Purple Heart, and in fact he makes an appearance in Starcross. I have other characters that I feel are as crucial and critical to The Red Hook like The Coney, Sun Dog, even Benson Hurst. I have others set up. Adam McGovern and Paolo Leandri created Aquaria, and Aquaria has always been loosely attached and tethered to New Brooklyn. I’ve talked with other creators about coming up with characters for the New Brooklyn universe. It’s a long winded answer but yes, in my heart and even written down on paper there is a whole universe expanding through New Brooklyn."

"They don’t want you to be complicated. They like a complicated story, but they don’t want you to be complicated. They want you to be the person who does that thing. I like to use Frank Miller as an example. He did Daredevil, Batman, Sin City, they all can be under the banner of neo-noir and it keeps it easy to track. Ed Brubaker has a track. Brian K Vaughan is hard to pin down, but I feel like writers can away with expanding their rubber bands but it’s harder for artists and/or auteurs. People don’t like it when you hopscotch all over the place because they want to place you in their mind where they understand you and again.

I’m guilty of this as well. I look at filmmakers like Tarantino, who’s a great DJ of cinema. I look at musicians like Scott Walker, who just passed away. What an interesting artist and musician. Or someone like Prince or David Bowie. There’s a lot that’s similar in their music, but they were always creating different things. I wonder if in my career I’m making albums, and I don’t mean bande desinée French comics albums, but these little experiments. To your answer about where I belong, I don’t know if I belong anywhere. Maybe I belong everywhere?"

"That was an editorial mandate. I was happier with my original color scheme in Volume 1 but I was told that the readers of Line Webtoon prefer a four color experience over the limited palate that I use. I disagree and also I’m not a good colorist. I tried to meet the challenge of producing a four color comic with War Cry and I realized that I don’t have the talent or the skillset to do what four color colorists are doing today, which is one of the reasons why I created a limited palate. Having said that, I came upon a collection of Batman and The Outsiders written by Mike Barr and drawn by Jim Aparo and colored by Adrienne Roy. It was a team book; it was going to get cosmic. I knew there was going to be a contrast between the New Brooklyn setting and it would get a little wild. I liked a lot of what Adrienne was doing, her solutions, keeping it a flat color schema. I was looking at that. With Starcross I was just pushing what I learned in War Cry a little bit more because now we’re really getting cosmic. There’s a lot going on in this comic. In a way Red Hook is almost a secondary character to the story in this third part, even though he’s essential."

"At the end of the day, I’m writing all kinds of characters. I’ve always represented diverse characters and strong females – I grew up around strong females, my mother is my first superheroes. Nowadays people are being called out for not being the person that they’re writing or drawing, but I feel like I’ve been very respectful of the different cultures and different kinds of people that I write and draw. But at the end of the day I’m telling this story through the eyes of a straight, white man, i.e. Sam Brosia, the Red Hook. So it is his story."

"Josh Blaylock, the publisher of Devil’s Due, reached out to me and said, do you want to do something for this? I didn’t have any thoughts on it, but he asked me if I knew other local cartoonists who might want to be involved. I sent out a call and a bunch of people responded. He asked me one more time and I had an idea that wasn’t a comic about AOC, because as you’ve read, it mainly focuses on someone else. The little I know about AOC, she seems to be a catalyst of new fresh ideas so she could be the person that sparks this fire. I hate the 45th President, as most of us. I can’t stand him, he shouldn’t be President. Having said that, I don’t like the amount of horrible drawings – and I know why artists do it – of this guy drawn every day. He’s throwing himself under the bus everyday. I feel like we’re in some ways perpetuating this monster by talking about him and drawing him constantly. We have to keep him on his toes, but I thought, if I’m going to contribute to this, what can I do to put a positive spin on it. Not that he’s doing something good, but what story can I tell to put a positive alternative spin on what will happen. I didn’t draw it. I wrote it, laid it out and lettered it and my former studio mate Christa Cassano, who drew the first half of John Leguizamo’s Ghetto Clown graphic novel, did the line art and colored it. I’m happy with the collaboration and I’m glad I was able to contribute, but I am curious to see how it all comes together as an anthology."

"I’m in the middle of writing two new plays. I am wondering about my next phase because I wrap up production on Starcross around mid-August and then I’m going to be going to Yaddo, the writers retreat, for a month. I hope to finish the first draft of a prose novel I’m writing and hopefully tweak this play. I might need to really buckle down and invest in myself and try to stay in this autonomous creative space. I spent years wanting to draw other people stories and characters, and slowly but surely I started to write my own stories and create my own characters. Now I want to stay here."

Read the entire interview here: http://smashpages.net/2019/04/11/smash-pages-qa-dean-haspiel/

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3:06 pm - Webtoon Wednesday – Star Cross with Dean Haspiel: The Comic Source Podcast Episode #815

I spoke to Jace about STARCROSS, the third tale in my New Brooklyn epic/Red Hook saga on The Comic Source podcast for Webtoon Wednesday at LRM:


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Tuesday, April 16th, 2019
12:06 pm - The fork in the road
I've heard the rumblings. A special sect of impassioned fans championing new comix inspired by the golden age of yesteryear. I joined the front lines, early on, waving that flag for decades. A patron of those creators who captured the flames and lightning from that groundbreaking Marvel Comics explosion in their works: Miller, Simonson, Starlin, Mignola, Giffen, Staton, Rude, Allred, Pope, Burden, Larsen, Quitely, Cooke, etc. Somewhere in the early 80s, I started writing and drawing my own.

Never one of the cool kids, I was too quirky. Not ready for prime time. However, I was lucky to enjoy some recognition but it was usually for my collaborations or my occasional memoir stuff. Never really popped with my superhero leanings, corporate-owned and/or creator-owned. Billy Dogma barely made muster and The Red Hook is basically ignored by the very fans I'm trying to appeal to.

Is a format issue? Perhaps. But, webcomics has been very good to me. I just didn't crack the comic book shop like I'd hoped to.

Is what I do not very good? I can't think about that. Besides, your mileage may vary. And, I don't have the cache of the current cabal of pseudo-neo-revenge comix slipping and sliding in '90s comics slime. I'm a cartoonist who unabashedly mashes up 60's anti-establishment silver age (Kirby, Beck, Ditko) with 80's indie-grit (Chaykin, Miller, Pope) all wrapped up in sci-fi romance monster comix. So, I continue to drive blind with unbridled passion in the gas tank, hoping to find a less bumpy road to Valhalla.

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Saturday, April 13th, 2019
11:55 am - Deadline Art
No comic book artist likes rushing their art. We discuss this in the studio. Do you know how many franchise comic book artists made the deadline, hell, even drew a whole comic in 2-weeks or a weekend (because another artist botched it up or a writer was late on the script) just to get dissed by readers and fans, protesting the artist from working on any given book again? It's sad. As a kid I didn't know about deadlines and pressure and rushed art. I just thought a sucky artist sucked. When, actually, they were better than that -- MUCH better than that -- given the time.

I'm sure there's a good reason comic books and periodicals had to be published on a regular basis, something to to do with distribution and keeping fans on the hook, but it never serves the creators. The entire creative assembly line of a group effort is forced to make shortcuts.

On the other hand, there IS an art to shortcut art. An art form I'm trying to master because I'd rather the reader turn pages than sit and stare and ogle my art. I've come to a certain sense of peace that my art ONLY serves the story (where image is text, too). To be honest, I don't know if I want to know what my art looks like given the time and space. And, at age 51 going on 52, I don't know that I care as much anymore.

Alas, comics can be anything. So, the creatives (including editorial) have to decide what is being produced before they set a proposed deadline. There's DAREDEVIL the monthly book (by Frank Miller & Klaus Jansen) and then there's LOVE & WAR (written by Frank Miller and painted by Bill Sienkiewicz). Both are great but created in different time frames with different goals. I worked with Sienkiewicz on The New Mutants and, even though the artwork was great, it was different than what he did on DAREDEVIL: LOVE & WAR, ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN, etc. Different deadlines and different goals for different projects in the same medium for the same industry.

Knowing what the project is supposed to be at the beginning helps dictate goals.

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Friday, April 12th, 2019
12:19 pm - Hi, It's Whitney (Matheson) episode 28: Dean Haspiel

This week I also contributed some recommendations to Whitney Matheson's great pop culture newsletter:

WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? by Edward Albee might be my favorite play of all time. Alas, I've only seen the brilliant movie adaptation directed by the late/great Mike Nichols, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. It's the movie that made me want to write a play.

I've been lucky enough to have written three plays produced the last few years, and I'm currently putting the finishing touches on two more. In a world going digital, the intimacy of a black box theater is my favorite space to engage in one of the last bulwarks of human expression and connection. So with that in mind, here are three NYC recommendations:

IT'S GETTING TIRED, MILDRED, written and directed by Roger Nasser. It's NYC's longest-running late-night monthly soap opera for the stage. Since its premiere in 2014, it has grown a loyal following with a cast party after the show so you can meet your favorite characters. And whether you have watched from the beginning or come for the first time now, you will be hooked and become a fan!

COMEDY PEOPLE'S TIME features New York's premier stand-up, improv and late-night television talent. Each unique performance continues to raise the bar. If you haven't seen my pal/actor Tarik Davis do his thing, you're truly missing out on something special.

THE PAIN OF MY BELLIGERENCE. I have tickets to see this brand new play on April 19, and I trust that writer/actress Halley Feiffer (daughter of master storyteller Jules Feiffer) will broker a spirited performance confronting the rigors and fallout of toxic masculinity with brutal wit and wisdom.

As for other mediums, I've been listening to Boy Harsher, Kamasi Washington, Vince Staples, The Zombies, Roland Kirk, and Cosey Fanni Tutti. I watched and loved ANNIHILATION, ASSASSINATION NATION, MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT and THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER. I recently watched Season 2 of THE SINNER and THE DEUCE, and Season 1 of STAR TREK: DISCOVERY and KIDDING. Comic books/novels I'm currently reading are INCREDIBLE INC. by J.M. DeMatteis and Mike Cavallaro, CRIMINAL by Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips, OFF SEASON by James Sturm, SOMMELIER OF DEFORMITY by Nick Yetto, WHICH LIE DID I TELL? by William Goldman, and FREEZER BURN by Joe R. Lansdale.

Read the entire newsletter and subscribe here:

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Thursday, April 11th, 2019
11:09 am - Only Love Can Save The World: Talking StarCross With Dean Haspiel at Comicon.com

Hannah Means-Shannon conducted an interview with me about my new webcomic series, STARCROSS, The Red Hook season 3 (for LINE Webtoon) at Comicon.com


"The cosmic aspects of my comix are definitely influenced by Jack Kirby’s Negative Zone in The Fantastic Four, coupled with Steve Ditko’s psychedelic astral planes in Dr. Strange. The Monolith in Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey carries profound curiosity in my mind. The outer space jockey and gardeners from the “Alien” franchise has been rattling around in my head for awhile. And, recent cinema like Moon, Interstellar, Arrival, and Annihilation hit me hard emotionally."

"Some artists convey flight with balletic verve, as if the body is made of feathers. I prefer to display mass and how flight can disorient you; how a body combats the tether of gravity.

Years ago, I remember studying Curt Swan’s Superman and admired how he drew the man of steel as if he weighed 400 pounds of relaxed muscle. Which makes sense since Superman’s extraordinary powers are activated by the earth’s sun, and gravity is an important part of what makes his abilities work. I always admired how grounded (literally) Curt Swan drew Superman lifting off and flying as if he needed to take a running start. Former Justice League of America artist, Mike Sekowsky, drew his heroes like inebriated meat sacks that stumble and flounce rather than leap and bound. Most recently, Lee Weeks illustrated gravity like a boss in that great Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner inspired chase sequence in Batman #67.

Another artist I’ve leaned on for a graphic sense of gravity is John Romita Jr. It’s as if he ate everything Jack Kirby, Frank Miller, and his father, John Romita Sr. drew, and combined their catalog into drawing the modern superhero. I’ve learned a lot from Romita Jr’s Spider-man, Thor, and Iron Man comics. His characters always feel centered."

"I can’t color to save my life. And, because I have poor Photoshop skills, I hardly render in color. In fact, I designed a limited color palette for The Red Hook season one only to be told by editorial that I had to expand my color schema. I think they thought more fans would read my comix if I made the sky blue and the grass green. I disagreed, but the challenge made me confront some creative fears. And, I leaned towards the bold Stan Goldberg colors of 1960s Marvel, and Adrienne Roy’s team book colors in those 1980s New Teen Titans and Batman and The Outsiders comics published by DC. I discovered new ways to color code scenes and characters for narrative clarity and emotional impact."

"Remove New Brooklyn and take away the superhero tropes, and the core is a classic story about The Red Hook’s love for his girlfriend, Ava Blume. She is his center. His inspiration to do better. Be better. Anyone who has ever been in a serious relationship can relate to this. And, what happens when the person you’ve devoted your heart to dies trying to save your life, resurrects into a human of mass destruction and then, ironically, becomes the only solution that can save earth from extinction?"

"I’m still using cheap sketch paper, blue pencils, a Japanese brush pen and Jet pens for inks. I digitally color, letter, and edit my art into a vertical scroll, while keeping in mind the eventual print version. I lay out the comics I produce for LINE Webtoons differently than most other comics I create. It’s been quite a challenge. I’m still discovering a better, more succinct shorthand in my work. I’ve always maintained that my art is story-driven. Don’t waste your time ogling my illustrations. There’s nothing to see here. Just read it, enjoy it, and move on."

"And, then there’s the Instagram comics model. One to ten square panels of comics. Same thing I did at ACT-I-VATE, the now defunct webcomics collective I founded 13-years ago at Live Journal in 2006. I realized that most of my more successful creator-owned comix launched online and I’m thinking of starting a Patreon for my next self-produced comix project. See, I’ve grown weary of creating and curating content for Facebook. I know social media has become a groundbreaking (yet questionable) part of our daily lives, but why not see if I can make a few bucks doing the same thing but with new work and make my digital footprint more intimate and qualified?"

"Curiously, writing plays has started to affect the way I think about comic books. Even though the blank page has an unlimited budget, I’ve started to treat my comix like black box theater. I’m writing my scenes as if they could be performed on the stage. I never have more than 5-6 major characters in a story. I simplify the setting. I try to keep each conflict between 2-3 characters. By shrinking my cast and settings, I’m able to better develop my story and achieve themes. It’s been an interesting phase in my comix process."

Read the entire interview here: http://www.comicon.com/2019/04/10/only-love-can-save-the-world-talking-starcross-with-dean-haspiel/

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Wednesday, April 10th, 2019
1:09 am - Dean Haspiel's STARCROSS launches today for free at LINE Webtoon

STARCROSS, the third installment of my Red Hook series, debuts today for free at LINE Webtoon (App).

STARCROSS finds New Brooklyn on the eve of an ice age that will make all life on earth extinct. The only way to save the planet is for The Red Hook to ally with Sun Dog, find and rekindle romance with War Cry, confront the Omni-Gods, and give birth to a new dawn where only love can save the world!

You can read the first three chapters here: https://www.webtoons.com/en/super-hero/star-cross/list?title_no=1599

"STARCROSS is the cosmic conclusion of a romance featuring the life, death and resurrection of War Cry and her lover, former thief/superhero, The Red Hook in New Brooklyn. Metaphorical themes of secession, unrequited love, and global warming make this season a must-read for all fans of the modern antihero."

Please know it's best to view STARCROSS on your smart phone and/or tablet.


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1:05 am - Dean Haspiel & Josh Neufeld Take On Pekar’s American Splendor ‘Scene By Scene’ at Comicon.com

Hannah Means-Shannon interviewed Josh Neufeld and I about our new podcast, SCENE BY SCENE WITH JOSH & DEAN, about Harvey Pekar and American Splendor the movie.

Here are some excerpts:

"When Josh first approached me about doing this podcast I was hesitant. As much as I love collaborating with Josh, and cherish Harvey Pekar, his comics and the movie, I didn’t think I could devote the time and intelligence necessary to breaking down the movie minute-by-minute. That’s right, when Josh first pitched it to me he wanted to dissect American Splendor minute… by… minute. Josh tried to sell me on the Star Wars Minute format — but I had to remind him that epic sagas strung together with yarns of lore and reams of fan fiction can explore each minute of a film second-by-second, but I didn’t feel American Splendor had that kind of latitude. Which is why I suggested we break it down scene-by-scene. And, when Josh finally agreed to that, I still wasn’t convinced to do it.

Even though I studied film at SUNY Purchase, watch movies weekly, and I’ve written unproduced screenplays, I had reservations about spending that many hours analyzing and critiquing a single movie that intensely. I know Josh wanted to also discuss the original comics that served as source material and influenced the film but, again, did I really want to steep that deep into the legacy of Harvey Pekar?

I will never take for granted the fact that collaborating with Harvey Pekar on The Quitter put me on the comic book map. I am forever grateful. But a part of me feels like I need to let the past stay in the past and respectfully move forward. It’s emotionally difficult for me to revisit the past. Especially those people who were so important to me in my life. I grew up with a father who has devoted most of his life to a person who died almost sixty years ago. I suppose my initial hesitations in co-producing the podcast stemmed from an allergic reaction to my father’s loyalty to the past.

Ultimately, Josh and I discussed the merits of this unique project and agreed to use the movie as a way to also talk about our relationship with Harvey, our comix careers, the industry and, most importantly our friendship. And now that we’ve produced more than half the season, I’m happy Josh asked me to do it."

"Fans of cinematic and comix detail and personal stories are going to freak out over this podcast. Josh did a great job researching the minutia of the film, the comics, and most everything that went into shaping the movie. He plied me with photocopies of the comics, a spreadsheet breaking down talking points for each episode, and cut up the movie scene by scene. A podcast of this magnitude is as prepared and professional as can be. No room for boring navel-gazing.

However, with all the preparation, I felt it was important to improvise. Incite a sense of conversational discovery. Encourage our analysis to derail a little bit into other, interesting territories. Luckily, the movie is rich and serves as a vessel for spirited dialogue that both educates and entertains."


"Place a magnifying glass upon any author’s oeuvre and you can’t help but find curious connections between their work and yours. After Harvey’s sudden death, I realized that his work gave me the gift of observation. Harvey’s ear was as profound, if not more than his voice. He listened. Having that distance between reading Harvey’s work, drawing his stories, and writing my own allowed me to identify important ways to tell a story — especially memoir. And even though Harvey wasn’t a guy who dug superheroes, emulating his nuanced approach helped humanize and make more complex my flawed characters."


"Having been involved in the film, it’s been fascinating to revisit it so closely and make connections I hadn’t noticed before. Stuff you’ll have to find out about while listening to the podcast. But the fact that the movie still holds up, is still ahead of its time while paradoxically being classic, is admirable and awesome. I encourage anyone who hasn’t seen American Splendor the movie to watch it before listening to our podcast because it will only add more value to the discussion."


"Harvey suffered no fools, but even though he was a famous curmudgeon he also had a heart of gold and was a good guy. The movie does a great job negotiating Harvey’s complexity. And, as amazing as the actors were, the movie proves how beautifully avant-garde it is by letting the actors share screen time with the real-life people they are portraying, almost as if your mind was playing tricks on you, contrasting memoir with fiction — and it’s wonderful."

"I think almost any adult in America can watch the movie cold, knowing nothing about Harvey Pekar and his legacy, and they’ll walk away wanting to know more. Not because the film doesn’t do a brilliant job telling a feature length version of Harvey’s life, but because the filmmakers do a fascinating job taking an otherwise ordinary, blue-collar guy with a hankering for jazz, comic books, and junk food, who makes friends with misfits who carve their own niche to communicate and connect with people, and wrap it all up under the guise of a romantic comedy! If you can’t relate to that, I can’t relate to you."


"Harvey Pekar transcended comic books with his commitment to memoir when it wasn’t fashionable. When comic books weren’t cool. Coupling words and pictures that could do anything; say anything, Harvey was blogging about his life in comic book terms before social media and the 24-hour news cycle took society hostage and inoculated us with attention deficit disorder. Back when a “selfie” came with a story. In American Splendor, no topic was off limits. Even though Harvey was the hero in his story, he wasn’t heroic. That wasn’t the point. The point was to communicate, captivate, and connect with real people. Harvey was just an honest and authentic guy."

Read the entire interview here: http://www.comicon.com/2019/04/08/dean-haspiel-josh-neufeld-take-on-pekars-american-splendor-scene-by-scene/

And, you can listen to the SCENE BY SCENE WITH JOSH & DEAN podcast here: http://scenebyscenepodcast.com/

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Monday, April 8th, 2019

Brooklyn, April 2019 — Acclaimed cartoonists Josh Neufeld and Dean Haspiel have launched a new weekly podcast: Scene by Scene with Josh and Dean http://www.SceneByScenePodcast.com

Debuting April 8, Scene by Scene will focus on the award-winning film AMERICAN SPLENDOR, about comic book writer Harvey Pekar. The podcast breaks down the movie scene by scene, with insight, humor, and inside information. It promises to reveal previously unexplored connections between the original American Splendor comics and the film’s construction, as well as behind-the-scenes insight into the comics-making process. The podcast is geared toward fans and scholars of the legendary Pekar, indy comics and movies, as well as the rapidly growing “movies-by-minute” podcast movement.

Haspiel and Neufeld were both long-time illustrators for Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor comic book series. (Haspiel encouraged producer Ted Hope to make an American Splendor movie and introduced him to Pekar.) In addition to their many independent projects, Neufeld and Haspiel are lifelong friends who have collaborated on projects such as Keyhole comics, the ACT-I-VATE collective, and Hang Dai Editions. The American Splendor film (released in 2003), about Pekar and his wife/collaborator Joyce Brabner, was directed by Shari Springer-Berman and Robert Pulcini, and stars Paul Giamatti and Hope Davis. It won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, a critics award at Cannes, the Writers Guild Best Adapted Screenplay award, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay.

Each episode of the podcast includes details about the original comics that inspired the scenes, Pekar’s life & career, the joys and challenges of being professional cartoonists, the nature of identity, truth in art, and the realm of memoir/autobiography. The tone is very much in the spirit of Josh & Dean’s friendship, characterized by irreverent humor and playful banter.

Special guests will include other former Pekar collaborators, as well as actors, filmmakers, and producers.

Neufeld says, “I was looking for a way to combine my interest in the growing field of minute-by-minute podcasts with my obsession with the arcana of comics and film. And then I came up with it: Harvey, American Splendor, and Dino! Putting those ideas together makes for an entertaining deep dive into the various realms of storytelling.” Haspiel says, “I’m thrilled to discuss my relationship with Harvey, his legacy, indy comics, film, and, more importantly, my friendship with Josh.”

Scene by Scene can be found on all major podcast platforms and distributors. To listen, visit SceneByScenePodcast.com or your favorite pod-catcher. The website also features examples of Josh & Dean’s own illustrations, comics samples from American Splendor and other places, and process drawings.

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About Harvey Pekar and American Splendor: Harvey Pekar (1939–2010), a Cleveland-based writer, popularized autobiographical comics with his long-running self-published series American Splendor, which debuted in 1976. Pekar’s unflinching honesty and fascination with the minutiae of everyday life made him a working-class hero to millions of readers. Pekar worked with such acclaimed illustrators as R. Crumb, Joe Sacco, Drew Friedman, Spain Rodriguez, Ed Piskor, Frank Stack, and Jim Woodring. He gained additional fame in the 1980s with a series of memorable appearances on Late Night with David Letterman. Pekar and wife Joyce Brabner co-wrote the award-winning graphic memoir Our Cancer Year, about Pekar overcoming lymphoma.

About Dean Haspiel: Emmy & Ringo Award-winner Dean Haspiel created Billy Dogma, The Red Hook, illustrated for HBO’s Bored to Death, is a Yaddo fellow, a playwright, and helped pioneer personal webcomics. Haspiel has produced many superhero and memoir comics, and illustrated a number of stories in American Splendor, as well as Harvey Pekar’s “origin story” The Quitter. He previously co-hosted the podcast Trip City. DeanHaspiel.com

About Josh Neufeld: Josh Neufeld is a Brooklyn-based cartoonist known for his nonfiction narratives of political and social upheaval, told through the voices of witnesses. Neufeld has been a Knight-Wallace Fellow in journalism, an Atlantic Center for the Arts Master Artist, and a Xeric Award winner. His works include A.D: New Orleans After the Deluge and The Influencing Machine. Over a 15-year period, Neufeld was a regular illustrator for Pekar’s American Splendor. He has traveled all over the world speaking about comics. JoshComix.com

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4:35 pm - STARCROSS coming soon!

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Thursday, March 21st, 2019
12:18 pm - STARCROSS debuts 4.10.2019

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12:14 pm - Turnaround reviews The Alcoholic
The Turnaround blog reviewed THE ALCOHOLIC 10th anniversary expanded edition.


"Haspiel has had a ton of experience with down to earth storytelling (his work on Harvey Pekar’s American Splendor, The Quitter and his J Jonah Jameson origin story in Spider-Man: Tangled Web being top examples) and his style really helps put Jonathan through the ringer."

"If you missed The Alcoholic the first time round, this is a perfect opportunity to check out two brilliant creators at the top of their game. "

Read the entire review here: https://theturnaroundblog.com/2019/03/21/the-alcoholic-10th-anniversary-expanded-edition-review/

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Saturday, March 16th, 2019
12:37 pm - Marvel Cinematic Universe prediction
My prediction: Avengers Endgame ends with a reboot sparked by Kang the conqueror that starts a new era dubbed "It's About Time," that eventually introduces The Fantastic Four (hello Dr. Doom & Galactus) and welcomes The X-men to the MCU. Deadpool/Wolverine road trip? 'nuff said.

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Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

In the 4th episode of the Mirror/Image podcast, The Red Hook cartoonist Dean Haspiel chats with writer, actress, and pornographer Stoya about sex in comics and the pair's journey through digital media and creator-owned freedom.

LISTEN HERE: https://imagecomics.com/podcasts/mirror-image-episode-four-dean-haspiel-stoya

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Monday, February 25th, 2019
3:43 pm - AOC comix anthology/fundraiser
I collaborated with artist Christa Cassano for the upcoming Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis? comix anthology/fundraiser published by Devil's Due Comics. It comes out May 15, 2019.

More info here:

There's a lot of polarizing chatter on social media, including a bunch of articles.

Forbes published an article, written by Rachel Kramer Bussel, featuring a quote from me and a sneak-peek of the art by Christa Cassano.

"Comic Book About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Inspired By Her Quoting Alan Moore, Coming Out In May"



Dean Haspiel, a Brooklyn-based cartoonist and producer of the webcomic The Red Hook, contributed a two-page comic to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Freshman Force: New Party Who Dis? entitled “Make America Empathetic Again,” drawn by Christa Cassano (see below for an exclusive excerpt). Haspiel told me, “I didn't have a lot to say about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez because she's so green (pun intended) yet refreshing, someone to watch grow. But I did have an idea percolating about Donald Trump that I wanted to convey and I figured out a way to work Ocasio-Cortez into my conceit. Ocasio-Cortez is the catalyst that sparks proactive change and helps makes America empathetic again. I'm very proud of our piece.” Haspiel was also instrumental in connecting Blaylock with many New York-based cartoonists for this project.

( artwork by Christa Cassano: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ccassano/ )

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Sunday, February 17th, 2019
2:20 am - John Maus
John Maus' music kinda sounds like what would happen if you gave Bret Easton Ellis a synthesizer and asked him to score a lost John Hughes movie.

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Wednesday, February 13th, 2019
10:45 pm - St. Mark's Comics
I don't remember who gave me my first comic book but, when I was twelve, I discovered a newsstand that sold comics in front of a church across the street from where I lived in the upper west side of Manhattan. A few times a week I visited that newsstand and picked up new Marvel & DC superhero comics. The Fantastic Four, and Marvel Two-In-One were my favorite. A few years later I discovered comic book shops like West Side Comics, and Funny Business. Later on, I discovered Judge Dredd at Forbidden Planet, and American Splendor, and Yummy Fur at Soho Zat. And then I became aware of St. Mark's Comics.

I don't remember meeting Mitch Cutler but I can't recall St. Mark's Comics without thinking of Mitch. He looked like a bespectacled, mild-mannered guy and knew comics well. The first retailer I could talk to honestly about the state and business of comics before I ever got published.

After being an assistant to Bill Sienkiewicz, Howard Chaykin, and Walter Simonson on The New Mutants, Elektra: Assassin, American Flagg!, and Thor, respectfully, in 1985, I produced my first published comic, a co-creation with writer Martin Powell called The Verdict in 1987. But, it wasn't real until I saw it on the racks at St. Mark's Comics. I remember how proud Mitch was of me. I went from fan to professional in St. Mark's Comics. But, the truth is, I'm still just a fan. We all are.

I spent many years shopping at St. Mark's Comics, famous for its punk rock yet knowledgeable staff. My fondest memory is my first signing there when St. Mark's Comics moved down to the street level. I can't remember what comic book I was hawking but a table and chairs had been set up for me and, I believe, a few other cartoonists. Again, the comics and talent escapes my memory. But, I remember, distinctly, the jarring sound of a baseball bat slamming down on the floor, over and over again. Not in rapid succession, but intermittently. Out of the blue. The slamming of wood on linoleum would suddenly interrupt a thought or the punchline to a joke. Mitch was walking up and down the aisle with a baseball bat, tapping the floor as hard as he could to ward off potential thieves and criminals.

At the time, I felt Mitch's tactic was annoying. Disrupting the signing. I suspect a patron or two might have picked up a comic and fearfully returned it upon Mitch's threat and kindly exited the premises. I was a tad perturbed but, oddly, it remains my favorite memory of St. Mark's Comics.

On the heels of learning that St. Mark's Comics is closing after an honorable 36-year run on the lower east side, as the lower east side transitioned into something culturally unrecognizable and, frankly, abominable, I'd like to think that Mitch was acting as comics' guardian. A defender of cool and what is good in life. Like Marvel Comics' Heimdall, maybe Mitch was an all-seeing god, doing his best to protect the sanctity of comics while disguised as a bespectacled, mild-mannered comic book shop owner...with a baseball bat.

Thank you, St. Mark's Comics.

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Thursday, January 24th, 2019
9:08 pm - Dean Haspiel's cover for BLOODSHOT Rising Spirit #6

I drew a cover for Bloodshot (Rising Spirit) #6, published by Valiant Comics.


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Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019
5:23 pm - Dean Haspiel's cover for THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #2

I drew a cover for THE LIFE AND DEATH OF TOYO HARADA #2, written by Joshua Dysart, and published by Valiant. The image was inspired by Jack Kirby's cover for The Avenger's #4.


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